En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - September 01, 2008

From: Nottingham, PA
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: My plants are choking.
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I have a trailing weed that is choking the other plants in my garden. It grows super fast and it has small white flowers. The flower looks a bit like a mini morning glory. I have tried pulling it as much as possible over the last three years but it is just getting worse and worse. I put black weed barrier down and it has worked it's way through the tarp and mulch. I have already pulled out several perennials and don't want to lose anymore. I don't think it is mile a minute weed as this doesn't have barbs nor berries. Any idea what it is?

ANSWER:

The first nonnative invasive species that springs to Mr. Smarty Plants mind is field bindweed, AKA Convolvulus arvensis. Widely distributed throughout the continental U.S. and Canada, field bindweed is in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), has white flowers and is one of the most common weeds of orchards, gardens and crop fields. Please compare your plant to the images posted on the USDA website to make a positive ID.

If you need help making an ID, please submit a request for plant identification following the instructions below:

1. Tell us where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.

2. Take several high resolution images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.

3. Save images in JPEG format.

4. Send email with images attached to id@smartyplants.org. Please enter Plant ID Request on the subject line of your email.

If it turns out to be field bindweed, these four websites give you lots of information about this noxious pest.

Texas Invasives.org

University of California Davis Integrated Pest Management Program

 Montana State University  Extension

Colorado State University Extension

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Evergreen replacement for bamboo in Redding CA
July 27, 2009 - We have just removed bamboo from our backyard and need to replace it with a plant that will give us the same type of privacy. What plant would you suggest to plant along a fence line that will surviv...
view the full question and answer

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

Invasive plants in native plant area from Austin
May 15, 2012 - Why do invasive plants grow in native plant territory?
view the full question and answer

Nativity of Lantana camara and Strelitzia reginae
November 08, 2011 - I was wondering why Lantana Camara is not in the Wildflower's database. Multiple sources say it is native to the U.S. and North America. I was also wondering if Strelitzia reginae (Bird-of-Paradise...
view the full question and answer

Use of kudzu in landscaping
April 11, 2008 - HELLO MR.SMARTY PlANTS,my question is , I need a # of kudzu plants to grow quickly for a huge bare back wall since we are selling our house & have zero anything back there.we are getting comments that...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center